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Stye tlommontuealtl) of ittassacljusetts. 


Commission on the Investigation 

Agricultural Education. 

- tux. . 

January, 1918 





Publication of this Document 

approved by the 
Supervisor of Administration. 

D. of J. 
4 1913 

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To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth 

of Massachusetts. 

The Commission to investigate Agricultural Education at the 
Massachusetts Agricultural College and the development of the 
agricultural resources of the Commonwealth, ■ — authorized by 
a resolve of the General Court in the year 1916, and by a sub- 
sequent resolve in 1917 granted an extension of time until 
Jan. 9, 1918 — respectfully submits the following report. 

The resolve is as follows : — 

Chapter 106. 

Resolve providing for an investigation by a special commission op 
agricultural education at the massachusetts agricultural 
college and the development of the agricultural resources of 
the commonwealth. 

Resolved, That a special commission is hereby established, to be com- 
posed of the commission on economy and efficiency, the commissioner of 
education, and three persons to be appointed by the governor, with the 
advice and consent of the council, for the purpose of investigating the 
subject of agricultural education as conducted at the Massachusetts 
Agricultural College and the development of the agricultural resources 
of the commonwealth. 

The commission shall investigate and report as to the advisability of 
further expenditures for new buildings, additional equipment, the pur- 
chase of land and other improvements at the Massachusetts Agricultural 
College; as to the present policy of the college, with a view to ascertain- 
ing whether the college is meeting in the fullest degree the needs of the 
commonwealth in respect to agricultural training; as to the use of state 
and federal appropriations and grants; as to the operation of the farm 
department; as to the educational and academic instruction, and as to 

the extension work. The commission shall ascertain to what extent 
teachers are engaged in activities other than college instruction; to what 
extent students are taught practical farming; to what extent the college, 
independently of other agencies, contributes toward farming and agri- 
cultural development; to what extent the lands, buildings and equipment 
may economically be utilized; and the relative cost per capita for the 
education of state and out-of-state students in the various courses of 
instruction, including comparisons with other agricultural institutions. 
The commission shall distinguish the educational from the other activities 
of the college; shall estimate the cost of possible future development of 
the college, both for initial appropriations and for maintenance; shall 
consider the elimination of certain activities, and a revision of the courses 
of study in respect to the character of the studies, the amount of time 
devoted to them, and otherwise. The commission shall ascertain what 
return, if any, in respect to the agricultural activities of the people of 
the commonwealth, is made by graduate state-educated students, and 
what benefits, if any, might accrue to the welfare or development of 
agriculture in the commonwealth by a co-ordination of the Massachusetts 
Agricultural College, the state board of agriculture, the forestry depart- 
ment and the department of animal industry, or any of them, in order 
that certain obvious existing duplications and overlappings of activity 
may be eliminated, and that the work of the said departments may be 
done more effectively and economically. . 

The commission shall report what operations connected with agricul- 
ture, the expenses of which are paid by the state, can best be carried on 
at the college rather than under the direction of the board of agriculture, 
and what operations now carried on at the college can better be per- 
formed under the direction of the board of agriculture. 

The commission shall further report whether for the advancement of 
agriculture in Massachusetts it is advisable that the college be continued 
as at present organized. 

The commission shall give public hearings, and shall be allowed for 
necessary expenses such sums, not exceeding seventy-five hundred dollars, 
as may be approved by the governor and council. The commission shall 
report in print on or before the tenth day of January, nineteen hundred 
and seventeen, and shall include in its report drafts of any bills necessary 
to carry out its recommendations. [Approved May 19, 1916. 

The Commission and its Organization. 
By a later act the Supervisor of Administration succeeded the 
Commission on Economy and Efficiency. The ex-officio mem- 
bers of the Commission designated by the Legislature were, 
accordingly, Charles E. Burbank, Supervisor of Administration, 
and Payson Smith, Commissioner of Education. The three 

members appointed by His Excellency the Governor in August 
were L. Clark Seelye of Northampton, Warren C. Jewett of 
Worcester, and William F. Whiting of Holyoke. 

On Aug. 21, 1916, the Commission assembled in Boston for a 
preliminary discussion of the work to be undertaken and the 
methods to be followed. 

On Sept. 5, 1916, the Commission met and formally 
organized, by the election of L. Clark Seelye as permanent 
chairman and Payson Smith as permanent secretary. 

Methods of Investigation. 
In accordance with the requirement of the resolve public 
hearings were held as follows : — ■ 

Oct. 4, 1916, Massachusetts Agricultural College, Amherst. 

Oct. 13, 1916, State House, Boston. 

Oct. 19, 1916, Municipal building, Springfield. 

Oct. 24, 1916, State House, Boston. 

Notices of the public hearings were sent to the newspapers, 
to every member of the State Board of Agriculture, to every 
president of an agricultural society in the State, to the master 
of every grange in the State, and to names given by the master 
of the State Grange, the president of the Massachusetts Agricul- 
tural College and others. 

At all meetings an invitation was extended to those interested 
to send to the Commission written statements relative to the 
matters under investigation. 

Conferences were held with the trustees and the faculty of 
the Massachusetts Agricultural College. 

Extended conferences were also held with representatives of 
the Board of Agriculture, the State Forester, Department of 
Animal Industry, members of the Massachusetts Agricultural 
Development Committee, the director of the extension service, 
agents of county leagues and farm bureaus, and representative 
florists and market gardeners. 

Visits were made to county agricultural schools and to the 
agricultural department of high schools by individual members 
of the Commission. 

On Oct. 18, 1916, the Commission visited the college for the 
purpose of inspecting the grounds and buildings, and on Jan. 
23, 1917, to inspect the buildings and equipment more thor- 

Visitations were also made by individual members of the 
Commission to inspect the buildings, the work of the college in 
the field and classroom, and extended conferences were held 
with officers of the institution, graduates and undergraduates. 

A committee was sent to Washington to confer with the 
presidents and deans assembled at the annual conference, Nov. 
15 to 17, 1916, of the American Association of Agricultural 
Colleges and Experiment Stations. The committee attended 
the sessions of that conference and had interviews with most of 
the presidents and deans present. Interviews were also had 
with members of the United States Bureau of Education and of 
Agriculture, and the Commission received from them valuable 
suggestions concerning the management of the college. 

A questionnaire was sent to students, residents of Massachu- 
setts, taking agricultural courses at State agricultural colleges 
in the other New England States, to find out the reasons for 
their entering other colleges instead of the college in Massachu- 

An examination was made of the catalogues of the leading 
agricultural colleges in the United States and Canada. 

Numerous communications were received from those who 
were unable to attend public conferences, and a large amount 
of oral testimony, as well as written communications, was thus 
obtained from educators and officials in other colleges, and from 
farmers and representatives of various classes. The members 
of the Commission have given their services gratuitously, and 
have only been paid for their necessary expenses. 

Expended to Jan. 16, 1918. 

Expenses, $1,062 40 

( Ilerical work, 2,252 65 

Printing, - . 9 20 

Total, $3,324 25 

The scope and results of their investigation the Commission 
would present in the following order: — 

I. A brief summary of the Federal and State legislation by 
which the college has been established. 

II. The organization of the college, its trustees, students, 
graduates and equipment; the graduate school; the experiment 
station; the extension service. 

III. Recommendations and criticisms. 


The Massachusetts Agricultural College is one of the land- 
grant colleges established by the Morrill Act of 1862, which 
granted public lands to the various States and territories, the 
proceeds of which were to be used to establish colleges of 
agriculture and mechanic arts. 

Section 4 of the Morrill Act is as follows : — 

And be it further enacted, That all moneys derived from the sale of the 
lands aforesaid by the States to which the lands are apportioned, and 
from the sales of land scrip herein before provided for, shall be invested 
in stocks of the United States or of the States, or some other safe stocks, 
yielding not less than five per centum upon the par value of said stocks; 
and that the moneys so invested shall constitute a perpetual fund, the 
capital of which shall remain forever undiminished (except so far as may 
be provided in section five of this act), and the interest of which shall be 
inviolably appropriated by each State which may take and claim the 
benefit of this Act, to the endowment, support and maintenance of at 
least one college where the leading object shall be, without excluding 
other scientific and classical studies, and including military tactics, to 
teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the 
mechanic arts, in such manner as the legislatures of the States may re- 
spectively prescribe, in order to promote the liberal and practical educa- 
tion of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions in 

The State accepted the offer of Congress by the following 
act of the Legislature in 1863, chapter 166: — 

Section 1. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts hereby accepts 
the grant offered to it by the United States, as set forth and defined in the 
Act of Congress, entitled: "An Act donating public lands, etc. . . . 
and the governor of the Commonwealth is hereby authorized and in- 
structed to give due notice thereof to the government of the United 


In 1863 the college was chartered, according to chapter 220, 
Acts of 1863, and fourteen trustees were incorporated as a self- 
perpetuating board. 

Two-thirds of the annual interest and income provided by the 
Morrill Act were given to the Massachusetts Agricultural 
College, according to section 8 of that act. The remaining one- 
third of the annual interest and income provided by the act was 
given to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with the 
understanding that it would give the required instruction in the 
mechanic arts. (Acts of 1863, chapter 186, section 1.) 

The town of Amherst voted to appropriate $50,000 to the 
college if it were located there. After litigation favorable 
to the State, Amherst was chosen as the site of the college. 

In 1882, the Legislature passed an act (chapter 212) estab- 
lishing an agricultural experiment station. 

By the act passed in 1884 (chapter 50) the trustees ceased 
to be a self-perpetuating body, the power of appointment and 
removal being transferred to the Governor and Council. 

In 1887 the Federal government passed the Hatch Act, the 
purpose of which was "to establish agricultural experiment 
stations in connection with the colleges established in the 
several states under the provisions of an act approved July 2, 
1862, and of the acts supplementary thereto." This act appro- 
priated $15,000 annually, for the support of each station. 

The Legislature of 1887, chapter 212, accepted the appropria- 
tion upon the terms and conditions set forth by Congress in the 
Hatch Act. 

In 1894, by special act of the Legislature (chapter 143), the 
State experiment station was combined with the Federal sta- 
tion, and afterwards the two were placed under the administra- 
tion of the trustees of the college. 

In 1890 the second Morrill Act was passed by Congress, of 
which the following is an extract from section 1 of that act: — 

There shall be, and hereby is, annually appropriated . . . twenty-five 
thousand dollars, to be applied only to instruction in agriculture, in 
mechanic arts, the English language and the various branches of mathe- 
matical, physical, natural and economic science, with special reference 
to their applications in the industries of life and to the facilities for such 

In 1906 the Federal government passed another act, called 
the Adams Act, which appropriated $15,000 more each year for 
the use of agricultural experiment stations. 

In 1906 an act (chapter 507) was passed by the Legislature 
establishing a normal department at the college, appropriating 
a sum not exceeding $5,000 for that purpose. 

In 1907 the Federal government passed the Nelson amend- 
ment, making an additional appropriation that would bring the 
amount granted to State agricultural colleges by the Morrill 
Act and Nelson amendment up to $50,000. Of this amount 
the Massachusetts Agricultural College receives two-thirds, 
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology being given one- 

In 1914 the Federal government passed an act, called the 
Smith-Lever Act, section 2 of which makes appropriations an- 
nually to agricultural colleges in each State for extension work 
in teaching agriculture. 


As a result of the foregoing legislative enactments, the organ- 
ization of the college at present comprises three main divisions, 
as follows : — 

1. The college, including the undergraduate and the graduate schools. 

2. The experiment station. 

3. The extension service. 

Trustees. — All of these divisions are under the control of one 
body of trustees consisting of fourteen members who are ap- 
pointed by the Governor for a period of seven years, two each 
year, and of four ex-officio members, — the Governor of the 
Commonwealth, the president of the college, the Commissioner 
of Education and the secretary of the Board of Agriculture. 

The duties of the trustees are thus defined (Acts of 1863, 
chapter 220) : — 

Section 2. The said corporation shall have full power and authority 
to determine at what times and places their meetings shall be holden, 
and the manner of notifying the trustees to convene at such meetings; 
and also, from time to time, to elect a president of said college, and such 


professors, tutors, instructors and other officers of said college, as they 
shall judge most for the interest thereof, and to determine the duties, 
salaries, emoluments, responsibilities and tenures of their several offices. 
And the said corporation are further empowered to purchase or erect, 
and keep in repair, such houses and other buildings as they shall judge 
necessary for the said college; and also to make and ordain, as occasion 
may require, reasonable rules, orders, and by-laws, not repugnant to the 
constitution and laws of this Commonwealth, with reasonable penalties, 
for the good government of the said college, and for the regulation of their 
own body, and also to determine and regulate the course of instruction 
in said college, and to confer such appropriate degrees as they may de- 
termine and prescribe; provided, nevertheless, that no corporate business 
shall be transacted at any meeting unless one-half, at least, of the trustees 
are present. 

1. The College Faculty. 

Composition. — The faculty is composed of the administra- 
tive officers, all teachers, members of the extension service staff, 
and members of the experiment station staff of the rank of 
instructor and above. 

Voting Members. — The voting members of the faculty are 
the teachers of the rank of assistant professor and higher. 

Committees. — The faculty is organized into twelve commit- 
tees whose function it is to initiate policies or to administer 
certain faculty rules. 

j. 1 d m inistrat he Officers . 

The administrative officers are the president, dean, treasurer, 
registrar, secretary, director of the graduate school, director of 
the experiment station and director of the extension service. 

Five officers are designated as the heads of divisions, as 
follows: division of agriculture; division of horticulture; divi- 
sion of science; division of humanities; division of rural social 

Three officers of the institution are in charge of departments 
not included in divisions above named: the librarian, head of 
department of military science, and head of department of 
physical education. 

In 1867, the year the college opened, there were four regular 
teachers in the faculty. In 1916-17 there were 71 teachers who 
devoted their entire time to teaching, classified as follows: 27 
professors, 10 associate professors, 14 assistant professors, 15 
instructors and 5 assistants. 


There were also 15 half-time teaching assistants and 7 half- 
time research assistants. Other employees were 51 clerks, 20 
skilled laborers, on an average, and 50 unskilled laborers. 

Divisions and Departments, — Students and Teachers. 
The divisions and departments of instruction, with the 
number of students and teachers in each in 1915-16, are as 
follows : — 


of Students 




Division of agriculture, 
Department of: — 
Animal husbandry, 

Farm management, 
Poultry husbandry, 
Rural engineering, . 

Division of horticulture, 
Department of: — 
General horticulture, 
Forestry, . 

Landscape gardening, 
Market gardening, . 

Division of science, 
Department of: — 
Botany, . 
Entomology, . 
Mathematics, . 
Microbiology, . 
Physics, . 
Veterinary science, . 
Zoology and geology, 

Division of the humanities, . 

Department of: — 

Economics and sociology. 

History and government, 

Language and literature, 

Section of: — 


Music, 2 . . . . 

French, . 

Spanish, 3 

Rural journalism, . 



Division of rural social science, 
Department of: — 
Agricultural economics, . 
Agricultural education, . 
Rural sociology, 

Miscellaneous departments, 
Department of: — 
Military science, 
Physical education, 

















1 Part time. 

2 Music taught by one of the German teachers. 

3 Spanish taught by one of the French teachers. 


Duties of Teachers. 

The heads of all the departments listed on the foregoing state- 
ment have administrative duties in connection with the man- 
agement of their respective departments. The amount of time 
thus required varies with the different departments. Thus, in 
the divisions of agriculture and horticulture, a much larger 
amount of time is required because of the fact that in addition 
to the usual departmental management the respective heads 
must direct the outside work of their departments, such as the 
farm, orchards, dairy, etc. 

In the division of agriculture 8 teachers devote an average of 
12 per cent of their time to extension service, and 3 members 
devote an average of 17 per cent to research work. 

In the division of horticulture 6 teachers devote an average 
of 18 per cent of their time to extension service, and 3 members 
devote an average of 9 per cent to research work. 

In the division of science 5 teachers devote an average of 8 
per cent of their time to extension service, and 17 members de- 
vote an average of 23 per cent to research work. 

In the division of the humanities practically no work is done 
other than that of teaching by members of the school. 

In the division of rural social science 3 teachers devote an 
average of their time to the extent of 13' per cent to extension 
service, and 2 members devote an average of 21 per cent to 
research work. 

In addition to the number of regular students taught in each 
department, as shown on the foregoing statement, the staff 
conducts also the winter school of agriculture, which in 1916 
had an enrolment of 153. It also contributes largely to their 
lectures, demonstrations, etc., to the annual farmers' week, and 
various conferences which are held on the campus. 

The Students. 

In the year the college opened, 18G7-68, 56 students were in 
attendance. The first class graduated in 1871, with 27 mem- 

The number of students enrolled in the college in 1916-17 
was 680, including 57 graduate and 37 unclassified students. 


The attendance has increased sixfold since 1898, and has trebled 
in the last ten years. 

The following is a summary by classes for the year 1916-17: — 

Graduate students, 
Senior class, 
Junior class, 
Sophomore class, 
Freshman class, 
Unclassified students 

Total registration, 




One hundred and one students graduated in 1916, and 104 in 

In 1916-17 there were 680 students in the Massachusetts 
Agricultural College, and 629 college-grade students in agricul- 
ture in all the other New England agricultural colleges. 

In 1899 women students were first enrolled at the college to 
take the regular courses. 

Twenty-eight women attended the college in 1916-17. 


The students pay no tuition, except those from out the State, 
who pay $60 per year. 

Tuition to persons who are not citizens of the United States is 
$120 per year. 

Cost of Instruction per Capita. 
As nearly as can be estimated, the cost to the Massachusetts 
Agricultural College per student per year for instruction is 
$203; maintenance, $133; administration, $42; total, $378. 

Requirements for Admission. 
The requirements for admission to the college are based on 
the completion of a four-year high school course or its equiva- 
lent, and are stated in terms of units. The term "unit '"means 
the equivalent of at least four recitations a week for the school 


year. Fourteen units must be offered for admission, of which 
eight and one-half units are prescribed, and five and one-half 

The standard of admission is in most respects the same as 
that of the other agricultural colleges, and also of the other 
colleges in the Commonwealth. 

No classical languages are required either for entrance or 
graduation. French, German and Spanish are the only foreign 
languages taught in the college, and these are elective, except 
that one course for a year in French or German is required. 

Courses of Study. 

The college has 345 one-term courses of instruction, including 
those in military training which, under the terms of the Morrill 
Act, are required of all students. 

The course of study is designed to give both a liberal and 
agricultural education, and an opportunity to specialize in any 
department in which a major course is offered. 

Seventeen teaching departments offer majors; at the end of 
the sophomore year all students are required to select one from 
this list, and during the last two years must devote at least one- 
half of their time to studies prescribed under this major. 

Requirements for graduation are four years of prescribed and 
elective work. 

The standards of the college are designed to be equal to those 
of other colleges and technical institutions of high grade. 

The work of the first year includes only required work, 
optional work beginning in the second year and continuing 
through the other years. 

The Policy of the College. 
The policy of the college is thus stated by the president : — 

The permanent function of an agricultural college, supported at public 
expense, is to help solve the rural problem. The task of the college is 
as broad as the rural problem itself. This problem consists in the most 
complete utilization and conservation of the physical, economic, social 
and spiritual resources of the Commonwealth, for the purpose of at- 
tempting to erect an adequate rural civilization, and to secure the fullest 
possible contribution of the farmer to the common welfare. 


The purpose of the Massachusetts Agricultural College, therefore, is 
to utilize the processes of education in helping to improve the agriculture 
and country life of the State and nation, and to assist in adjusting 
the relationships between producers and consumers of products of the 

The college is one of many agencies of society, some supported by the 
State, some voluntary and private, all designed to further rural welfare. 
Each agency has its peculiar function, and the activities of all must be 
correlated in order that harmonious development may ensue. The col- 
lege will participate in the effort to analyze and clarify the rural problem; 
to study the agricultural resources, conditions and needs of the Common- 
wealth; to formulate a large, practicable, State-wide plan of rural im- 
provement; and to co-operate in carrying out the plan. The college will 
also find its place in a comprehensive State system of agricultural educa- 
tion that ministers to the needs of all the people of the State, young and 
old, in school and out, and will retain a vital touch with all parts of the 

It becomes, then, a fundamental duty of the college to render all possi- 
ble assistance in the solution of the various problems of agriculture and 
farm life in the Commonwealth; to give unstintingly of technical knowl- 
edge, intelligent sympathy and real helpfulness to those people of the 
State who are interested in rural affairs; and to participate in construc- 
tive, co-operative efforts dealing with rural development in the local 
community, in the State and in the nation. 

Short Courses. 
Short courses were carried on for many years at the college, 
but definitely organized in 1909, when the Legislature appropri- 
ated $7,500 for that purpose. They are now maintained out of 
the $50,000 appropriated by the State for extension service and 
short courses. The winter and summer schools are established 
for those who wish to study agriculture but are unable to take a 
four-year course. No entrance examinations are required, but 
the candidates for admission must be at least eighteen years old. 
The winter schools extend over ten w r eeks, and the summer 
schools over four. They are conducted by college teachers on 
the campus, but are under the supervision of the director of the 
extension service, who also has the title of supervisor of short 
courses. There are also schools of one week's duration for rural 
social service, for rural teachers and for rural clergymen, and 
there are three agricultural camps of a week each where boys 
and girls can combine sport with study. 


The following is a statement of the short courses conducted in 
1916, with the attendance in each: — 

Winter Schools. 

Ten weeks' course, 
Farmers' week, 
Beekeepers' school, 
Polish farmers' day, 
Apple packing school, 
County agents' conference, 
Bankers' conference, 







Summer Schools. 
Summer school of agriculture and country life, 
School for rural social service, 
Conference on rural organizations, 
Poultry convention, 

Boys' camps, 

Girls' camps, . . ... 







Excluding the graduates of 1916, a recent census of the alumni 
of the college, who are living, found the number to be 1,171. 
Of this number, 564 were graduated previous to 1906 and 607 
since that time; 45 per cent of the former number and 52 per 
cent of the latter are living in Massachusetts. Of all living 
graduates 49.8 per cent are residing in Massachusetts; 65.3 per 
cent of the graduates are engaged in agricultural vocations; 
26.9 per cent of the graduates are engaged in non-agricultural 
vocations, as follows: business, 7; teaching, 5; engineering, 5; 
medicine, 3; miscellaneous, 6.9; and the occupations of 7.89 
per cent of the graduates are unknown. 

In these statistics, vocations connected with the agricultural 
industry include practical agriculture and horticulture, as" well 
as the teaching positions in agricultural colleges, secondary agri- 
cultural schools, agricultural departments in high schools, prac- 
ticing chemists, botanists, entomologists and. other scientists 
working on subjects related to the agricultural industry. 


Material Resources. 

Land. — The original Federal grant to the college was scrip 
for 360,000 acres of western land. This scrip was sold by the 
State of Massachusetts, and the sum realized from it, after de- 
ducting $29,778.40 for the purchase of land for the college site, 
was $208,464.65. 

Federal and State Grants. — In 1871 the State Legislature, 
realizing that the income from the funds provided by the Fed- 
eral land grant was entirely inadequate for the support of the 
college, appropriated the sum of $141,535.35 as an additional 

Income from Federal and State Endowments. — The income 
from the Federal and State endowments from 1867 to 1905 
fluctuated from approximately $5,000 to nearly $16,000 a year, 
the average being about $11,000. Since 1906 the annual 
income from these two endowments has been $10,613.32. 

State Appropriations. — From 1864 to 1882 the State appro- 
priated a total of $259,500 for new buildings and maintenance 
of the college. 

In 1882 the State appropriated $5,000 annually for research 
work; two years later this sum was increased to $10,000 per 
year. This appropriation was subsequently merged with other 
funds granted for the current expenses of the college. 

In 1883 the Legislature made the first continuing appropria- 
tion for instruction at the college. This appropriation was 
$10,000 a year, to continue four years. At the expiration of 
this four-year term the appropriation was made indefinite, and 
in 1889 an additional annual appropriation of $10,000 for in- 
struction and maintenance was granted. In 1899 the appropria- 
tion was increased by $1,000. In 1901 the appropriation was 
increased to $39,000 a year, including $10,000 for research work. 
Since 1907 yearly additions were made to this amount until 
1913, when the Legislature provided a five-year appropriation 
for maintenance, beginning with $250,000 and increasing to 
$362,000 in 1918. 

When, in 1913, the Legislature passed the law providing for 
the annual expenses of the college, the amounts to be spent for 
the different departments, such as extension, research, instruc- 


tion, etc., were not specified. Accordingly, the trustees have 
made their own apportionment from year to year. They have 
generally followed quite closely the schedule recommended in 
the report of the Commission on Economy and Efficiency, made 
at the time the five-year law was passed. 

From 1883 to 1904, inclusive, the State made several special 
grants for buildings, land, improvements, etc. The average 
yearly income for these purposes for this period was approxi- 
mately $15,000. From 1905 to 1916, inclusive, an appropria- 
tion was made every year for similar purposes, ranging from 
$47,400 to $210,000, the average being $93,460. 

Funds. — From the Federal government the college has re- 
ceived $1,474,177.52, and the State grants total $4,451,937, the 
sum total being $5,926,214.52. 

Private benefactions have been small. The total amount 
from which any income is available is $49,100. 

In 1917 the total funds received from the Federal govern- 
ment will be about $100,000; from the State, $340,000, and 
from fees, sales, etc., $120,000, or a total of about $560,000. 

The income may be estimated at about $578,000 for 1918. 

The land of the institution at Amherst comprises 600 acres, 
and is estimated to be worth $93,418.58. The location has been 
admirably chosen for the purpose of the college. It is central, 
and the surface, diversified with meadow and upland, furnishes 
unusual opportunities for agriculture and agricultural experi- 

The present inventory value of all land, including Mount 
Toby and two or three small parcels recently acquired, is 
$135,000. There are 329 acres leased to furnish additional land 
for pasture and agricultural demonstrations. 

Forestry Reservation. 
The college has recently acquired 755 acres on Mount Toby, 
at a cost of $30,000, for the use of the forestry department. 

Market-garden Field Station. 
In 1916 the Legislature was petitioned by certain market 
gardeners to establish a market-garden field station under the 
control of the trustees of the Massachusetts Agricultural Col- 


lege, and to appropriate $20,000 for the acquisition of land, the 
construction of buildings, and for the suitable equipment of the 
station, and also to provide an annual maintenance fund of 
$10,000. There was granted in 1916, $8,000 to cover all of the 
above-mentioned purposes. The appropriation was expended 
as follows : — 

12 acres of land in Lexington, $4,855 00 

Labor, 2,077 93 

Equipment and supplies, 1,035 59 

$7,968 52 

This left an unexpended balance of $31.48. 

The Legislature of 1917 was requested to appropriate $25,000 
for the erection of buildings at the field station, and $10,000 to 
maintain the station until Dec. 1, 1918. The Legislature 
granted $3,500 for a barn, $1,500 for equipment and $5,000 for 

When the college was opened four buildings had been erected. 
There are now 52 buildings, of which 21 are of brick and stone, 
and 31 of wood. They have cost $1,043,485, and are estimated 
to be worth $1,008,031. 


The equipment of the college, including library books, 
sewer and water mains, boilers, etc., is estimated to be worth 

The machinery and equipment of the producing departments 
mentioned below (live stock not included) are valued as 
follows : — 

Dairy (manufacturing plant), $11,017 94 

Farm, 5,447 06 

Poultry husbandry, 1,249 70 

Floriculture, 226 60 

General horticulture, 2,087 17 

Market gardening, 742 20 

Pomology, 696 85 

$21,467 52 


The College Farm. 

There are 250 acres under the general supervision of the 
department of farm administration. The farm furnishes an 
opportunity to demonstrate the best methods of farm manage- 
ment, machinery, etc. 

The live stock of the college farm is valued at $23,138. 

The following is a statement of disbursements and receipts of 
the college farm for the fiscal year ending Nov. 30, 1916: — 


Cattle, $12,453 42 





Field crops, 


Tools and machinery, 

Live stock, 







Field crops, 



4,810 36 

4,369 31 

405 82 

2,124 30 

5,408 74 

4,007 60 

393 64 

1,170 37 

$35,143 56 

$1,909 03 

21,207 85 

854 34 

210 50 

1,858 85 

1,592 04 

1,354 32 

28,986 93 


>,156 63 

Certified Milk. 
The college was receiving in 1916-17, 9| cents per quart for 
quarts, and 10 cents per quart for pints, for certified milk. 
If the milk should be produced without observing all the re- 
quirements necessary to have the milk certified, and should be 
sold to the dining hall at 6 cents per quart, there would be a 


loss of approximately $7,100 in income, and not a proportionate 
reduction in cost of production. 

If the cattle were kept only for making certified milk, the 
account would be as follows for the last fiscal year of the col- 
lege, 1916-17: — 


Cattle stock, $1,728 50 

Cattle sundries, .... 180 53 

$1,909 03 

Dairy milk sale, ....... 21,207 85 

$23,116 88 

Cattle labor, . . . . 

Cattle feed, . 

Cattle supplies, 

Cattle bedding, 

Cattle inventory shrinkage, 


$5,850 00 

6,203 77 

399 65 

850 41 

745 00 

Dairy labor, . 
Dairy equipment, 
Dairy supplies, 

Balance credit, 

52,119 27 
114 04 

2,577 77 

$14,048 83 

4,811 08 

18,859 91 
$4,256 97 

The Dairy Department. 
The dairy department gives instruction in such work as 
relates to the handling and care of milk, the manufacture of 
milk into dairy products, — cream, butter, buttermilk, soft 
cheese and ice cream, — and the construction and equipment of 
dairy handling and manufacturing buildings. 

Inventory of Live Stock on the Farm. 
The following is an inventory of live stock of the college farm 
for the year 1916-17, arranged by breeds: — 




Pure-bred or Grade. 

Class of Stock. 




Pure-bred, . 

Pure-bred, . 





Pure-bred, . 
Pure-bred, . 
Pure-bred, . 
Pure-bred, . 

Pure-bred, . 
Pure-bred, . 
Pure-bred, . 

Pure-bred, . 
Pure-bred, . 
Pure-bred, . 


Milking cows, 

Young stock, 

Bulls (1 calf), . 

Milking cows, 

Young stock, 


Milking cows, 
Young stock, 
Young steers, 
Bulls (5 calves), . 
Milking cows, 

Milking cows, 
Young stock, 
Bulls (1 calf), 
Milking cows, 
Young stock, 

Milking cows, 
Young stock, 
Bulls (2 calves), . 
Milking cows, 
Young stock, 

Milking cows, 






















Jersey, .... 





Shorthorn, . 








Berkshires, . 

Pure-bred, . 




Chester Whites, . 

Pure-bred, . 




Yorkshires, . . 

Pure-bred, . 




Grades and crosses, 

Grade (fattening hogs), 




Total, . 




Shropshires, . 

Pure-bred, . 

Pure-bred, . 

= = 






Total, . 




French Coach, 
Percheron, . 

Pure-bred, . 

Pure-bred, . 

— ~ 









The Graduate School. 

The graduate school is not the result of any special legislative 
enactment or appropriation of State funds. Graduate courses 
were offered as far back as 1875, and probably previous to that 
time. The school grew out of the desire expressed by graduates 
of the college to pursue special courses after graduation, and 
was formally organized in 1912 and was empowered to confer 

The graduate staff is composed of 21 members connected with 

The director of the graduate school is head of the graduate 
school faculty, and, in general, is responsible for the character 
of its work and has the oversight of graduate students. 

Associated with him in directing the school there are 14 pro- 
fessors, 3 associate professors, 1 assistant professor, 1 research 
pomologist and 1 instructor. These teachers are part of the 
regular staff of the college, and do not devote their time ex- 
clusively to the graduate school. 

2. Experiment Station. 

The experiment station was established by Federal and State 
legislation in 1887. (See page 8.) 

In 1882 the State made its first appropriation of $5,000 for 
the maintenance of an agricultural experiment station. In 
1884 the annual appropriation was increased to $10,000, and 
continued at this figure until 1913, when the Legislature pro- 
vided a five-year maintenance fund for the entire institution, 
out of which fund the amount derived from the State for the 
experiment station in 1915-16 was $30,000. The station also 
received from appropriations by the Federal government 

The experiment station staff consists of 39 members who are 
immediately connected with the work of the station. 

The director of the experiment station has full administra- 
tive responsibility, under the president, for the work of re- 
search and investigation. He recommends members of the 
staff to appointment, presents definite projects of work, prepares 
the budget for the year, approves all bills, etc. 


Nine persons are employed in the clerical work of the station. 
The work of the station is mainly in three distinct lines, — 
control work, investigation and special service. 

Control Work. 

The director of the experiment station is charged with the 
enforcement of three control laws to prevent fraud in com- 
mercial fertilizers, commercial feedstuffs, and machines and 
glassware for testing the quality of milk and their fitness to 
make the Babcock test. 

In the year ending Jan. 1, 1917, 800 analyses, representing 
552 distinct brands of commercial fertilizers, were made. 

In the same year over 1,100 samples of feedstuffs were col- 
lected and examined, and over 1,300 brands of feedstuffs were 
registered and permits for sale issued. 

The same year machines and apparatus in 87 milk depots, 
creameries and milk inspectors' laboratories were examined, 
and over 5,000 pieces of glassware were tested for accuracy. 
Thirty-eight candidates were examined and received certificates 
of fitness to make the Babcock test for butter fat. 

Though not required by law, the station undertakes to make 
official determinations of the yields of pure-bred cows in milk 
and butter fat in all cases in which the owners desire such 
tests to be made. The number of cows tested during the past 
year was over 350. The cost is met by fees paid by the owners. 


The chief object of the experiment station is to acquire useful 
and practical information on agricultural subjects, and to pro- 
mote scientific investigation and experimentation respecting the 
principles and applications of agricultural science. 

Most of this investigation is conducted on the grounds and in 
the buildings of the station and college, but summer work is also 
carried on relative to the cranberry in the sub-station in Ware- 
ham, to market-garden problems in Lexington and to asparagus 
in Concord, while there are experiments in co-operation with 
farmers in various parts of the State on alfalfa, asparagus and 


wheat. In addition, certain lines of investigation are being 
carried on on land leased for the purpose, the most important 
among these being the orchard experiments in South Amherst. 

Investigations in progress vary widely in character, some 
being little more than simple comparative tests, others dealing 
with comparatively narrow and simple problems which can 
usually be solved within a short time; but a large proportion of 
the investigations are fundamental in character, and frequently 
continue over long periods, but have scientific relations and 
bearings that are of great value in the agriculture of the State 
and of the country. They are, however, too extensive and 
varied to be given fully within the limits of this report. A few 
illustrations of their character must suffice. 

The best methods of feeding, the cost of production, and the 
methods and cost of distribution have been studied and the 
way pointed to many important improvements. 

Fertilizer experiments extending over many years have 
thrown important light upon the specific value and adaptation 
of all classes of fertilizer materials, and have indicated the 
special fertilizer requirements of our principal crops. 

Methods of top-dressing, permanent mowings and pastures 
have been carefully investigated under varying conditions. 

Two crops of wide importance — Japanese barnyard millet 
and medium green soy beans — have been introduced to Ameri- 
can agriculture. 

The study of the causes of disease in farm, garden, hothouse 
and floricultural crops has led to discovery of effective methods 
of prevention, — for example, steam fertilization of seed beds, 
and, in the case of hothouse crops, better management as re- 
gards light, ventilation and watering. Injuries to shade trees, 
especially from gas and electricity, have been discovered and 
methods of prevention pointed out. 

A large amount of attention has been given, with important 
results, to the study of insect damages and methods of preven- 
tion, especially onion thrips, the greenhouse red spider, the 
gypsy moth, the oriental moth, the onion maggot, and a large 
number of insects injurious to the cranberry crop. 

The possibilities and disadvantages of attempted sugar pro- 
duction from the beet and sorghum were carefully studied. 


The digestibility of practically all prominent cattle feeds has 
been determined, and their value and adaptation indicated. 

The feeding value of different varieties of salt marsh hay, of 
molasses and a considerable number of new feedstuffs has been 

The chemistry and bacteriology of market milk have been 
studied and methods of improvement in production and hand- 
ling suggested. 

The chemistry of insecticides has been studied and important 
improvements in manufacture indicated. 

The specific chemical effects of different fertilizer materials on 
soils, and the relations of these changes to productive capacity, 
have engaged attention. 

Plant-breeding work in co-operation with the Federal De- 
partment of Agriculture has resulted in the production of a 
highly improved rust-resistant strain of asparagus, and other 
plant-breeding work of scientific importance has been carried 

A large number of tests has been made to determine the 
relative value of varieties of farm products and fruits. 

Orchard experiments have led to important improvements in 
management as regards especially the use of fertilizers, pruning 
and spraying. 

Considerable progress has been made in the production by 
scientific breeding of a non-broody strain of one of the American 
breeds of poultry, while numerous experiments in the manage- 
ment and feeding of poultry have contributed largely to a 
knowledge of the best methods. 

Diseases affecting our different domestic animals have been 
investigated, and better methods of management discovered. 

Special Services. 
The station carries on an extensive correspondence in answer 
to inquiries, giving advice on a wide range of subjects; making 
free analyses; examination of seeds; determining causes of 
injury from diseases or insects; advising as to identification of 
fruits and grasses; blood tests of laying hens and making sani- 
tary water analyses. Over 15,000 letters are now written an- 
nually in answer to such inquiries. 


Annual reports and special bulletins are published every year 
by the station giving the results of its investigations and much 
information upon agricultural subjects and meteorological 
observations. For instance, over 100 topics were studied on 
the subject of animal nutrition and dairying, and the results 
published and distributed to the farmers of the State. 

3. Extension Service. 

The object of the extension work is to give to rural com- 
munities outside of the schools instruction in improved methods 
of agriculture. That object is clearly stated in the Smith- 
Lever Act of 1914, 1 which granted Federal aid for the prosecu- 
tion of this work in connection with the Agricultural College, 
and the colleges in each State receiving the benefits of the land 

The extension service has received from the State approxi- 
mately as follows : — 

In 1908, $5,000 2 

In 1909, 7,500 2 

In 1910, 15,000 2 

In 1911, 20,000 3 

In 1912, 50,000 

In 1913, 50,000 

In 1914, 50,000 

In 1915, 50,000 

In 1916, 50,000 

Total, $297,500 

This work was extended by the Federal legislation of 1914, 
providing for co-operative extension work in agriculture and 
home economics. 

The Federal appropriation to the college under the Smith- 
Lever Act is $16,000 for 1917. This amount will be increased 
until 1923 by about $2,400 annually. 

1 See page 9. * For short courses and extension service. 

s For short courses in agriculture, etc. 


The college is also receiving from the Federal government 
$20,000 this year for farmers' co-operative demonstration work. 
This should not be regarded as a continuing grant. The grant 
is made each year for specific projects, and there is no assur- 
ance that any such project will be continued for more than 
one year. Thus, whereas the college is now receiving $20,000 
in a special grant, in four or five years this amount may be 
withdrawn; on the other hand, it may be increased somewhat. 
If the Federal and State governments continue the extension 
work appropriations on the present basis, there will be available, 
in 1917, $84,000, and with the increases provided for, the col- 
lege should have in six years an annual fund of $100,000. It 
conducts many projects with the use of State funds alone, or in 
co-operation with the United States Department of Agriculture. 

There are 25 members on the staff of the extension service, 
16 of whom devote their entire time to it. 

The director of the extension service has general supervision 
of the outside work of the institution. 

There is a committee of the Board of Trustees of the college, 
called a committee on extension service, before which are placed 
all plans, budgets, apportionments, etc., for approval at the 
beginning of the fiscal year, and at such intervals as is neces- 
sary throughout the year. 

Nine persons are employed in the clerical work of the service. 

All work is laid out in the form of written projects. Finances 
for each project are apportioned at the beginning of the year. 
These projects receive the approval of the head of the depart- 
ment concerned, the director of the extension service, the presi- 
dent of the college, the United States Department of Agricul- 
ture officials in case Smith-Lever or United States Department 
of Agricultural Co-operative Demonstration funds are used, and 
finally that of the trustees' committee, before they are put in 

The projects conducted by the extension service during 
1916-17 were as follows: — 


Correspondence courses. 

Civic improvement. 

M. A. C. Improvement Association. 


Community planning. 

Library extension. 



Printing and publications. 

Animal husbandry. 

Junior extension. 

Farm management demonstrations. 

Poultry husbandry. 

Home economics. 


Extension schools. 

County and local agents. 

Co-operative organization and marketing. 

Miscellaneous helps. 

Farm Bureaus. 

Important agencies co-operating with the extension work are 
represented by the county leagues and farm bureaus. They are 
organized in every county except Suffolk. 

Farm bureaus may organize in Massachusetts under an act 
of the Legislature of 1914 (chapter 707). 

They form a corporation under the State laws, but must then 
apply to the Massachusetts Agricultural College for approval 
of their organization, after which they may ask support for 
their work from the county commissioners. 

The actual direction of the work of the agents is vested in an 
advisory board of seven, three appointed by the farm bureau 
corporation, three by the county commissioners and one elected 
at large. 

The college and the United States Department of Agriculture 
employ co-operatively a county agent leader. It is his business 
to familiarize himself with the best in county agent work in 
this country; to keep in touch with the Federal department; to 
help county agents in organizing their work; to co-ordinate the 
work of the several counties so that it will form a general State 
plan; and to bring the extension specialists of the college and 
the county agents into close contact, thereby assisting them to 
carry on their work in a more effective manner. 

All the work of these agents is planned in advance, and put in 
the form of written projects, which are approved by the local 


board and the county agent leader before being put into force. 

Monthly reports from each county are sent to the county 
agent leader, who summarizes these and makes his report to 
the United States Department of Agriculture, and its sugges- 
tions are passed on from county to county. 

The college and the United States Department of Agriculture 
contribute jointly the sum of $1,200 toward the salary of an 
agent in each county, and $300 additional where a home demon- 
stration agent is employed. 

The remainder of the financial support is secured from the 
county appropriation, from interested individuals, and through 
appropriations made by towns in their annual town meetings. 

An annual conference, lasting one week, is held at Amherst. 
All county agents are expected to attend this conference. Here 
plans and methods are discussed by the Federal and State 
representatives and by the men themselves. 

Lectures and lecture courses are arranged through county 
agents, and exhibits in connection with agricultural fairs are 
arranged so that they may be used at fruit, dairy, poultry 
shows or other exhibitions. 

Farm management demonstrations are also given in order to 
enable the farmers to reorganize their farm management and 
place the same on a proper basis. 

Several directors of the farm bureau are selected in each town 
to help organize the work and to assist the agent in carrying 
out his projects. 

Under the so-called anti-aid amendment to the Constitution 
a new farm bureau law will be necessary if these are to be sup- 
ported by public funds. 

The Junior Extension Service. 
The junior extension work, so called, is that project of the 
extension service which organizes and supervises the boys' and 
girls' clubs of the State that are interested in agriculture and 
home economics. The boys' and girls' club work has been 
organized several years, and was introduced into Massachusetts 
by the college in the spring of 1908. It has gradually grown 
into a membership of 93,000 in 1917. They are organized in 
300 towns, with 350 teachers acting as assistants. They are 


engaged in market gardening, raising potatoes and corn, can- 
ning, bread making, poultry husbandry, dairying, pig clubs, 
in this kind of service. They receive $2,000 in prize money 
from the State Board of Agriculture. Private persons have also 
contributed to the work. The work has developed among the 
boys and girls in many instances a desire for advanced agri- 
cultural education, and has thereby increased the membership 
of the State college. 

The college holds also relations to the following State organ- 
izations: — 

State Board of Agriculture. — It has supervision of 32 agricultural fairs 
to which it pays bounties. It held, during the past year, about 160 farm- 
ers' institutes. It publishes an annual report, bulletins, nature leaflets 
and reports of other phases of its work, gives advice to inquirers at office 
on agricultural matters, and maintains a distributing library of 6,000 
volumes. The work of the Dairy Bureau of the State Board of Agri- 
culture consists in police work relative to the enforcement of dairy laws, 
and educational work for the purpose of improving dairy products. The 
Board also is responsible for nursery and apiary inspection, enforcement 
of apple-grading law, employs an ornithologist, and encourages agri- 
culture directly by special exhibits, demonstrations and the distribution 
of bounties to incorporated poultry associations. 

State Forester. — The forest service of the State carries on an elaborate 
forest-fire protection, develops reforestation, and has charge of the sup- 
pression of the gypsy and brown-tail moths. It promotes the perpetuation, 
the extension and the proper management of the forest lands of the Com- 
monwealth, both public and private. On request it gives owners of 
forest land aid and advice in the management thereof. The white pine 
blister rust has interested both the State Board of Agriculture and the 
State Forester. 

Department of Animal Industry. — This department enforces laws rela- 
tive to contagious diseases of domestic animals, and has the power to 
secure proper hygienic conditions for such animals; it also has super- 
vision over the importation of live stock into Massachusetts from other 
States and countries. 

State Board of Education. — This Board is carrying on a comprehensive 
campaign on behalf of a thoroughgoing system of agricultural education 
of high school grade, and under the provisions of the Vocational Education 
Act, it has supervision of all State-aided agricultural schools and depart- 
ments of agriculture in schools of secondary grade. 


The Trustees. 

No change is recommended in the method of appointment of 
the trustees. On the wisdom exercised in the selection of this 
important body the welfare of the college primarily and con- 
tinuously depends, for to them, subject only to the superior 
authority of the Legislature, the entire control and management 
of the college is intrusted. In some States trustees are elected 
by popular vote; in other States, in part by the graduates and 
by the appointment of other State officials. Happily political 
considerations have not apparently influenced the appointment 
of trustees in the Massachusetts college. 

One of the questions before the trustees of the college during 
the past few years is whether the college is or is not a State 
institution. Practically there can be, of course, no question 
in the matter, but it seems the fact that the trustees form a 
corporation has raised some technical legal questions as to 
whether the institution is in all respects a State institution. 
In order that this technical question may be settled, the trus- 
tees should secure legislative action upon it. 

The Faculty. 

No change is recommended in the method of appointment of 
the faculty of instruction. While inferior in authority to the 
trustees, on their intelligence and character depend chiefly the 
reputation and success of the college, and it is most desirable 
that men of the highest ability should be chosen for such posi- 
tions and should be paid adequate compensation for the service 
they render. 

There is no evidence that members of the faculty are en- 
gaged in outside activities detrimental to their work. In some 
instances they have been employed for specific work by State 
bureaus and some other organizations, but their work has been 
done mainly during vacation, and has not been prejudicial 
to the interests of the college. 

The Commission has been asked to inquire whether practical 
farm experience is required as a prerequisite for employment 


as instructor or professor. The fact is, a great majority of the 
instructors in the departments of agriculture and horticulture 
have had practical farm experience. The trustees have no rule 
which requires this. The Commission finds no reason why 
such a rule should be enacted. In many instances it would 
seriously handicap the trustees in filling certain positions if 
such a requirement were made. It is obvious that in many 
teaching positions practical farm experience will enhance the 
value of the services of the instructor, and may, at times, even 
be regarded as an essential element. 

The trustees, it appears, have recognized the advantage of 
such training, and have taken it into account in their ap- 

Retirement Age and Allowances. 
It seems desirable that the term of service of the officials 
and faculty of the college should be limited by age. While no 
age limitation to personal power can ever be accurately fixed, 
experience has shown that for most men the intellectual ability 
diminishes at about three score and ten, and in many colleges 
it is now the rule that teachers should be retired at the age of 
sixty-eight or seventy years. Few teachers have had salaries 
sufficient to lay up money enough to support them in old age, 
and the trustees may sometimes be constrained by humane 
motives to retain teachers after they have passed the period of 
greatest usefulness. It is recommended, therefore, that all 
teachers or scientists of the staff be retired at the age of sixty- 
eight and that persons so retired who have been in the service 
of the college at least fifteen years should be granted retiring 
allowances, either by the trustees or by the Teachers' Retire- 
ment Board after suitable legislation. 

Entrance Requirements. 
No other detail of administration is more important than 
that which deals with the selection of students. The aim of 
this selection should clearly be to secure those students who 
are likely to benefit by the courses in an agricultural college, 
and to turn to the advantage of themselves and of the com- 
munity the instruction they will receive in such an institution. 


The standards of entrance should be high enough to secure 
students capable of maintaining a high grade, both of academic 
and scientific study. Without admitting that these entrance 
requirements should be the same as those adopted by the 
colleges of liberal arts, yet the Commission believes that they 
should be of as high a standard. 

The whole question of the requirements to be fixed for en- 
trance to college has been long under discussion. It seems clear 
that all colleges must study the question, both in relation to 
their own requirements and in relation to the general responsi- 
bilities placed upon secondary schools. These schools are not 
chiefly college preparatory institutions. Other demands far out- 
weigh in importance the incident of college preparation. Doubt- 
less the colleges will increasingly recognize that the desideratum 
they seek is that of a body of students properly developed in 
their mental capacity, and that they will be readier than they 
have formerly been to recognize that the intellectual faculties 
can be well trained through a much wider range of school 
subjects than those to be found in the traditional college prepar- 
atory courses. 

The Massachusetts Agricultural College has taken as the ba- 
sis for its requirements for admission the fourteen units adopted 
by most of the New England colleges, as formulated by the 
National Conference Committee on standards of colleges and 
secondary schools. 1 Eight and one-half of these units must be 
taken as specified in English, mathematics, history and one 
modern language, and for these no substitute is allowed. The 
remaining five and one-half units may be chosen from twenty- 
three electives, in which are included all those specified by 
the College Entrance Certificate Board, and some others that 
are taught in most secondary schools. These additional units 
represent a free margin of choice, which makes, under present 
conditions of college entrance, a reasonable concession to the 
conditions under which students may have pursued their high 
school courses. There is certainly no justification for the state- 
ment sometimes made that classical requirements are imposed 
upon those who would seek entrance to the Agricultural College. 
It should be noted that no student is required to have taken 

1 See page 13 for definition of unit. 


courses in Latin or Greek in order to gain entrance, and, singu- 
larly enough, and with no good reason apparently for the dis- 
crimination, students who are prepared for the classical colleges 
are not given as much credit for their Latin in the Massachu- 
setts college as they receive at the colleges for the liberal arts. 

The Commission indorses fully the position of the college in 
requiring that its students shall be as well prepared for its in- 
struction as students are for advanced instruction in any other 
institution of higher education, and that the degrees it confers 
shall be of equal worth in their field with the academic degrees 
conferred by other colleges as certificates of attainment in 
other fields. 

It has been claimed that the entrance requirements of the 
Massachusetts Agricultural College have forced students to 
go to the agricultural colleges of other States to secure an 
agricultural education. An examination of the catalogues of 
New England States shows that 95 students from Massachu- 
setts were in neighboring State colleges in the year 1916-17, 
and that 85 students from these States entered the Massachu- 
setts State College in the same year. While a questionnaire 
addressed to these students calls forth the statement of a 
variety of reasons for the selection of an out-of-the-State 
college, this Commission is unable to see anything in most 
of these figures save an ordinary and normal interchange of 
students from one State to another. 

Certain facts have indicated that the requirements at the 
Massachusetts College may have been in some cases adminis- 
tered with too great severity and too little consideration of in- 
dividual ability, so that a few have been excluded who were 
qualified to take the college course. While this is to be re- 
gretted and should not be condoned, there is conclusive testi- 
mony that the college, by the maintenance of reasonably high 
standards, has gained in the number and intellectual quality of 
its students. 

In no agricultural college at present is any entrance require- 
ment in agriculture prescribed, partly because opportunities to 
pursue such courses are rarely available. An arrangement 
was made, however, in 1915, in the Massachusetts college, to 
accept three credits in agriculture from high schools whose 


agricultural courses have been approved. To provide for co- 
operation with the States in the promotion of agricultural edu- 
cation the Smith-Hughes Act was enacted by Congress last 
winter, whereby progressive Federal appropriations have been 
made, to be distributed among the several States, beginning 
with $500,000 in 1916 and steadily increasing until 1926, when 
the appropriation will amount to $3,000,000, and afterward 
that sum will be distributed annually until the law is repealed. 
One of the conditions of the act is that the education in the 
schools which the appropriation assists "shall be of less than 
college grade, and shall be designed to meet the needs of per- 
sons over fourteen years of age who are preparing for a trade or 
industrial pursuit, or who have entered upon the work of a 
trade or industrial pursuit." 

The operation of this act will probably tend to promote the 
study of agriculture in secondary schools, as a certain portion of 
the funds will be expended for agricultural instruction. 

Bearing upon the entrance requirements the Commission 
would make three specific suggestions. 

First. — That the college should administer its technical 
requirements so that they will not be arbitrarily taken as the 
final and sole criteria for the selection of students. In so far 
as students applying for admission come from the high schools 
of Massachusetts, it ought to be possible to get from high 
school principals and teachers sufficient information to deter- 
mine the fitness of applicants for college work. 

The college has recently adopted the policy of admitting 
on probation those students who, though unable to meet ex- 
actly the technical requirements of admission, yet present 
other evidence of their ability to carry on profitably the work of 
the institution. This step has the approval of the Commission. 

Second. — With the establishment of county schools of 
agriculture and of agricultural departments in high schools 
comes the question of the values which should be attached to 
secondary school courses in agriculture as preparatory to the 
agricultural college. 

It is certain that these courses, both in county schools and 
in high schools, must have different aims than that of college 
preparation. Relatively few of the students following them 

will go to college. To make prominent in such schools or 
courses preparation for college would defeat the main purpose 
for which they are established. However, it is inevitable that 
these secondary school courses will serve to disclose to many 
youth their aptitude and opportunity for more extended agri- 
cultural study. 

The boys' and girls' agricultural clubs, reaching youth of 
elementary school age, have in the testimony of the college 
authorities led some to college. The agricultural college as 
the last stage in a State-wide educational system for the ad- 
vancement of agricultural science should be closely correlated 
with secondary schools where agriculture is taught. The Com- 
mission approves and recommends the institution of optional 
agricultural courses as far as practicable in municipal high 
schools, and the granting by the college of the same credits 
as would be given in any other science to students who have 
attained satisfactory standing in such courses. At the same 
time, the other courses which are properly included in high 
school studies should not be eliminated, but should be so 
arranged as to make it possible for the student to secure a 
thorough and comprehensive training which will enable him 
to enter the agricultural college in good standing, and with at 
least an elementary knowledge of the subject on which his 
future work will naturally be based. 

Third. — The Commission believes it would be derelict in 
its duty if it did not point out a chaotic condition which now 
obtains with reference to educational standards in this State, 
and which must obtain until such time as the Legislature pro- 
vides some agency of standardization. At present there is the 
greatest diversity in the administration of all departments of 
public educational activity. Each town having its own sepa- 
rate and distinct school system presents characteristics which, in 
some instances, vary from those of adjoining towns. There is 
no uniformity, even on the broadest principles. The number of 
years required in the different towns and cities for the accom- 
plishment of the school course is not the same. Courses of 
study, even in essential particulars, are unlike, and in prac- 
tically every case of school administration there is a lack of 
proper co-ordination. So marked is this situation that pupils 


removing from one town to another lose class standing, are re- 
tarded in their work, and are measured according to greatly 
varying standards. This condition, while it affects chiefly 
school progress within the elementary and secondary schools, 
is not without its effect in the determination of college en- 
trance conditions. 

While it is desirable to preserve the integrity of local control 
in matters of detail, it is entirely possible to devise a system 
which, within certain broad lines, will so co-ordinate the public 
schools that pupils will be protected from the results of an 
extreme individualism. 

The Commission would, therefore, recommend that the State 
Board of Education be empowered to formulate and enforce to 
some extent standards for the elementary and secondary schools 
for the entire State. 

Courses of Instruction. 

The courses of instruction in the college should indicate an 
institution of a high grade, for the teaching of scientific agri- 
culture. In its distinctive field of agriculture it should be 
comparable with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
in its field of the mechanic arts. No countenance whatever 
should be given to any suggestion that the agricultural college 
be placed on the level of a trade or vocational school. 

The land-grant colleges were primarily established to pro- 
mote the study of agriculture by the most advanced and scien- 
tific methods of instruction. In their courses of study one 
naturally expects that science will occupy the most prominent 
place, and that it should be taught by men well qualified for 
their work. The Massachusetts Agricultural College meets this 

There are at present 228 courses in agriculture and the 
cognate sciences, and only 96 courses in mathematics and the 
so-called humanities. In the first year 48 courses are given in 
agriculture and mathematics, and only 18 in the humanities. 
In the second year 6 courses are required in the humanities, 
and 54 in agriculture and cognate sciences. After the second 
year a major course can be elected in one of 17 departments; 
during the last year 75 per cent of the students elected major 


courses in agriculture and horticulture. There is no major 
course in the humanities, and only one-quarter of the students' 
time is required in these studies. Three-quarters of the stu- 
dents are giving three-fourths of their time to distinctively 
agricultural subjects. Ten times as many courses are given in 
junior and senior years in agriculture as were given ten years 
ago, and more agricultural studies have been introduced in the 
first and second years than ever before. 

There has been no corresponding increase in humanistic 
studies. Of the faculty 54 teachers are engaged in instruction 
in agriculture and the cognate sciences, and 14 teachers in 
the humanities and mathematics. Members of the faculty and 
representative students alike testify that there is a prevailing 
tendency among the undergraduates to elect studies according 
to their supposed commercial values and to neglect those studies 
which aim to strengthen and cultivate the mind. While there 
is a fair showing of humanistic electives in the curriculum, 
most of them are not required as they are in the Massachusetts 
Institute of Technology and in other colleges, and only a few of 
the students elect them. Not only is there to be considered 
the number of courses, but account must be made of the 
order in which the courses are offered. The Commission recom- 
mends that the college authorities consider readjustment of the 
courses so as to give larger place to practical work in the first 
two years; also certain courses, — as, for example, that in 
rural journalism, — might be carefully scrutinized to see 
whether they are really desirable and essential offerings of the 

While the State in its acceptance of the provisions of the 
Morrill Act is bound to give special instruction in agriculture, it 
is no less bound by the language of the act to give a liberal 
education as an integral part of its distinctive work, and not to 
neglect or relegate to subordinate places those studies which 
experience has shown are best fitted to nourish and strengthen 
the faculties of the mind and which will enable men to do 
better work, whatever that work may be. 

The college has been severely criticized because no larger 
proportion of its graduates become practical farmers, owing it 
is said to the lack of practical instruction which they receive. 


An examination of the curriculum shows that this criticism is 
no longer merited. Practical farm work is now given during the 
first two years, and is required of every student. Of the total 
hours assigned to instruction in the division of agriculture and 
horticulture 32 per cent are given to classroom work, and 68 
per cent to laboratory and field work. The field work should be 
considered as indispensable as is laboratory work in any science, 
so that students may apply practically the instruction which 
they receive theoretically. A summer session has also been 
recently introduced whereby such work can be carried on more 
readily. The lack of practical farmers, therefore, among the 
graduates does not appear to be due to a lack of practical work 
in agricultural instruction, and can be more readily explained 
from other causes. 

Practical farmers the college does educate. They are found 
in all parts of the State, and are conducting farms which are 
profitable to themselves, and are profitable as object-lessons. 

The important consideration, however, is that the college 
should train men who, by their superior education and intel- 
ligence, can make valuable contributions to the agricultural 
interests of the Commonwealth. 

The college, in comparison with other agricultural colleges, 
makes a distinctly favorable showing in the proportion of its 
graduates who have become agricultural teachers and experts in 
agricultural science. 

The college authorities should be fully sustained by the public 
in maintaining a high standard of instruction and in holding 
students to a high standard of scholarship. 

Complaint also has been made because many students edu- 
cated in Massachusetts settle in other States, and Massachusetts 
loses the benefit of their work. It should be remembered, 
however, that the State college here is largely indebted to the 
Federal government for its support, and if its graduates enter 
into the service of other States it is only repaying the Federal 
government for the aid it has received. All the States are 
mutually indebted to each other for scientific knowledge, and it 
should be a source of congratulation rather than of complaint 
that the Agricultural College here can repay to other States 
something of its indebtedness to them. 


Let it be emphasized, however, that the first and constant 
care of the Massachusetts College of Agriculture is the promo- 
tion of the welfare of agriculture in Massachusetts. It will be 
judged by the results it produces on that industry in this State. 

There should be the closest affiliation between the Federal 
and State agencies for the advancement of common interests, 
and every State college should work not only for the interests 
of its own State, but also for the promotion of agriculture 
throughout the United States. 

The Graduate School. 

The graduate school properly completes the work of the 
undergraduate college. There is the same necessity for special- 
ists in agriculture as in other sciences, and the four years of 
undergraduate work are not sufficient to provide the specialists 
who are needed, although that work is an excellent preparation 
for those who desire to specialize in a higher school. The de- 
mand for specialists in agriculture is greater than the supply, 
according to the United States Bureau of Agriculture, and there 
are many places where well-trained specialists in agriculture can 
receive large salaries. 

The college is in constant need of teachers prepared by ad- 
vanced instruction to train undergraduates, and the experi- 
ment station must also be supplied with men qualified to carry- 
forward research work. Through the foresight of the Legis- 
lature the graduate school has now for its headquarters the 
micro-biological laboratory, admirably equipped for work in 
that department. It is of fireproof construction and can readily 
be enlarged when the present quarters are outgrown. The 
school is attracting more and more men from other States and 
other countries, who desire advanced instruction in agriculture. 
The Commission approves the wisdom of the trustees in estab- 
lishing the school, and recommends ample provisions for its 

The Experiment Station. 

The experiment station is one of the most important depart- 
ments of the college. Little progress in agricultural science can 
be made without it. The station has been criticized for not 
answering soon enough applications for relief from certain pests 


which threaten plant life; for duplicating publications of other 
agencies; for using too frequently technical and scientific 
nomenclature; for undertaking work with its limited equip- 
ment which could be better accomplished by the United States 
Department of Agriculture; and for laxity in enforcing the 
penalties for disobedience of the State control laws. 

The answer of the station to these criticisms is that some of 
the defects are due to the lack of enough competent investi- 
gators, and to the difficulty of finding, without prolonged re- 
search, the remedies desired. The college has already adopted 
measures this year for an oversight of its own publications so 
as to prevent their duplication. Some of the publications are, 
according to the station, intended for scientists who are familiar 
with scientific phraseology, but most of them can be readily 
understood by any one of ordinary education. 

It would be well for the station to leave to the United States 
Bureau any investigations which that Bureau could carry on 
more effectively in consequence of its greater resources. 

The studies in which the experiment station has been engaged 
are often complex and difficult, and need the co-operation of 
experts in several departments. While the Commission has 
discovered no laxity in the enforcement of State laws, it seems 
better to relieve the station entirely from the administration of 
the control laws, so that the attention of those engaged in the 
work of the experiment station may be exclusively given to re- 
search. In the earlier days of the college the inspection of 
fertilizers was considered of much greater relative importance, 
and the attention of the investigators was, therefore, mainly 
devoted to that work. The routine work is of less value to 
agricultural progress, and the main work of the station should 
be carried on by highly trained experts who give practically all 
their time to research. It will be conceded that research work, 
especially elaborate technical investigations such as are con- 
ducted by the experiment station, can be best accomplished by 
giving them the exclusive attention of the investigator. If the 
investigator's attention is diverted or interrupted by other 
work his progress in his investigations is delayed in even greater 
proportion than is represented by the amount of time actually 
lost. Investigators who are also endeavoring to teach are 


frequently compelled to give up experimental work almost 
entirely during term time, because the demands of their classes 
and interruptions by individual students make consecutive 
work, on investigations absolutely impracticable. Even where 
a certain amount of work is possible under these conditions, 
it has been noted that the work done is not so thorough, and 
the conclusions reached are apt to be superficial. On these 
points the director of the station and the authorities of the 
United States Office of Experiment Stations appear to be 
entirely in accord. In the opinion of the Commission the 
work of the experiment station would be more efficient if 
arrangements could be made for all its staff to devote full 
time, or practically full time, to experimental and investiga- 
tional work. To a very limited extent the giving of instruction 
by officers of the station may be advantageous, and it is per- 
haps detrimental to separate them entirely from contact with 
the ordinary work of the college; but so far as is feasible 
arrangements should be made to prevent their attention being 
diverted and their important work interrupted by other duties. 

Notwithstanding these criticisms, the importance of the ex- 
periment station is clearly recognized. It has already saved 
the farmers of the State large sums in the detection of bad, 
and the discovery of good, fertilizers, in the treatment of plant 
and animal diseases, in teaching how to get rid of the most 
destructive pests of plant life, in showing the comparative 
value of varieties of food, in testing the productive capacity 
of different soils, and in testing pure-bred cows to determine 
the quantity and quality of milk. The station has richly 
contributed to the agricultural wealth of the State. 

The station should be kept fully abreast of the times; it 
should be adequately supported, and every effort should be 
made to procure a staff of the highest ability. 

The station has now a large and valuable collection of scien- 
tific reports exposed to great danger from fire, which will be 
much better cared for when a new fireproof library is erected 
for the college. 

It will be equally benefited by the new chemical laboratory 
which the college needs, where the varied chemical tests em- 
ployed in research work can be carried on more advantageously. 


The Extension Service. 

The extension service has been criticized for attempting too 
much and expanding too much; for not properly economizing 
the time and force of its teachers; and for not co-ordinating 
sufficiently its work with other educational agencies. On the 
other hand, it has been highly commended. Numerous letters 
have been received from rural communities and from farmers 
testifying to the valuable work it has accomplished in these 
communities, and the aid it has given to individual farmers. 
Many instances might be cited where unproductive farms have 
been made productive, and where farmers have been taught 
how to manage their farms more economically and efficiently. 
There is abundant evidence to show that the extension service 
has contributed much to the betterment of the farmer, and has 
largely increased the agricultural wealth of this State. 

For this valuable work due credit should be given to the ex- 
tension service, but the Commission, as a result of its investi- 
gations, is forced to the conclusion that there has not been 
always sufficient consideration of other agencies seeking the 
same end, and that, with the best of intentions, there has been 
at times a tendency to exercise an authority which has aroused 
the opposition of those interested in the same work who felt 
they were not properly consulted, and that individual initiative 
and generosity were sometimes repressed by the failure of the 
college to recognize sufficiently the importance of securing their 
hearty co-operation. In the report of the extension service for 
1916 the following sentence can probably be fairly taken as a 
statement of the present conception of the function of the 
extension service : — 

The college, through its extension service, will in time function more 
and more as an organizer and administrator of large, State-wide move- 
ments designed to affect the rural life of the State. 

This appears to the Commission to represent an undertaking 
that may well lie beyond the resources and the proper ambition 
of this service to accomplish. A considerable number of move- 


ments designed to affect in some measure rural life may well 
be regarded as belonging to other agencies than the college to 
organize and administer. 

The Commission believes that the most logical and the most 
beneficial service the extension department has rendered has 
been in helping farmers in the improvement of agricultural 
methods. It recommends that it keep as closely as possible 
to that form of service. 

The rural problem, which it is the professed policy of the 
college to solve, seems only an integral part of that more com- 
prehensive human problem which confronts men everywhere, 
to which the State, the church and various social institutions 
are seeking to give the right answer, and to which the right 
answer can only be given by their united efforts. 

Relation to the State Board of Agriculture. 
Among the duties assigned your Commission was that of as- 
certaining to what extent some of the State bureaus working in 
this field could be co-ordinated in order that duplications might 
be eliminated and their work better systematized. This Com- 
mission found that three years ago there was organized for the 
same purpose a voluntary committee known as the Massachu- 
setts Agricultural Development Committee, consisting of seven 
members, representing the agencies interested in agricultural 
advancement supported by the State, as well as the State 
granges, and that this committee had already done a large 
amount of useful work in outlining plans for closer co-operation 
between them. Partly, in consequence of the suggestions and 
recommendations of this committee, the following articles were 
agreed upon by the State Board of Agriculture and the Massa- 
chusetts Agricultural College: — 

I. The State Board of Agriculture and the Massachusetts Agricultural 
college are, or should be, regarded as public agencies, to be sup- 
ported by public funds and to be subject to appropriate State 
II. The chief function of the State Board of Agriculture is adminis- 
III. The chief function of the State Agricultural College is educational. 


IV. There should be a standing joint committee on co-operation and 
adjustment, comprised of two or more members of the Board of 
Agriculture and a similar number from the Board of Trustees 
of the college, in addition to the secretary of the Board and the 
president of the college. 

V. There should be distinct written agreements on the form and method 
of division of labor in all cases where there is, in the opinion of 
either institution, any overlapping or duplication of work. 

VI. It is understood that in the matter of employment of members of 
the college staff as executive officers in the control of other work 
of the Board there will be definite agreements between the Board 
and the college. 

The Commission approves of these articles of the agreement, 
and would make them more comprehensive and authoritative. 

Board of Agricultural Co-ordination. 

The Commission therefore recommends that as soon as 
practicable after the reorganization of those agricultural 
agencies — which the recent anti-aid amendment to the Con- 
stitution seems to necessitate — a Board of Agricultural Co- 
ordination be established by legislative action, whose duty it 
shall be to correlate the agricultural agencies of the Common- 
wealth, to supervise their respective publications, to prevent 
overlapping, and to secure the greatest efficiency and economy 
in their work. 

The Commission also recommends in the reorganization of 
the Board of Agriculture, that the work of the Board be solely 
administrative, and include all the other departments which 
have anything to do with the field of agriculture, such as the 
Forestry Department and the Bureau of Animal Industry. 

Material Needs of the College. 
Financial Support. 
The first need of the college is permanent and adequate 
financial support. All the other problems with which it is con- 
fronted can only be solved satisfactorily if requisite means are 
provided to meet the expense which their solution involves. 
Inadequate support means poor teachers, poor buildings, poor 
equipment, a second or third rate institution. The Massachu- 
setts Agricultural College is no exception to this law. It will 


probably prove one of the most expensive institutions which the 
State maintains if it is to repay the State for its investment, 
and it will grow more expensive the better instruction it gives. 
Its expenses will also be greater than other land-grant colleges 
because it has no connection with a State university. An in- 
creasing number of students will also add to the expense of 
maintenance, while the tuition is free or less than cost. 

Four methods of supporting the college have come under 
the attention of the Commission. These are — 

First. — Annual appropriations based on estimates made 
directly to the Legislature. 

Second. — Continuing appropriations, specific in amount, to 
cover a definite series of years or until revoked. 

Third. — Millage appropriations based on a fractional amount 
of the State's valuation, increasing with the resources of the 
State and with the needs of the college. 

Fourth. — Appropriations based upon a budget which con- 
siders in advance of legislative action the requirements of all 
departments and institutions, and makes comparison of their 
relative need on the one hand, and of the anticipated income 
of the State on the other. 

It is clear that it is desirable, from the point of view of the 
college, that its income may be so insured as to make possible 
the arrangement of a program of development for more than 
one year at a time. From the point of view of the State, and 
consistently with a sound public policy, it is desirable that the 
expenditures of the trustees be kept within reasonable check 
and control of the Legislature. 

Of the foregoing methods the first appears to be objectionable 
both to the college and to the Legislature. It prevents the 
trustees from knowing sufficiently in advance what means 
they will have for the development of their plans, and it has 
apparently proven wasteful of the time of college authorities 
and of legislators in the annual review and discussion of the 
various proposals. 

The second plan, more acceptable than the first to the 
college, is objectionable from a legislative viewpoint because 
it implies a fixed agreement to which succeeding Legislatures 
may properly feel that they have without warrant been bound. 
Moreover, when such continuing appropriations are made for 


a fixed period of time there is almost certain to be, at the end 
of the period, the kind of discussion of the college and its 
conduct that is not beneficial to it. 

The third method adopted by seventeen States, and, accord- 
ing to testimony presented to this Commission, generally 
acceptable both to colleges and to Legislatures, fixes in the 
statute a fractional or millage basis for the support of the 

The advantage of this plan is that to a degree it affords 
assurance of a certain relatively fixed income, increasing with 
the advancing valuation of the State and with the developing 
needs of the college. It is not open to the objection that 
succeeding Legislatures are bound by it, since there is no 
time limit fixed as to the application of any given ratio. Any 
Legislature may without violating any agreement alter the 
basis of the appropriation. It is taken for granted that, with 
the acceptance of the terms of the Federal laws and the estab- 
lishment of the college, responsibility for some measure of 
support will be assumed. Only the form and extent of future 
development and the amount of support remain as subjects 
for legislative consideration. 

The assessed valuation of the real and personal property of 
the State, subject to taxation, is now about $5,000,000,000, and 
the annual increase in recent years has been about $150,000,000. 
An appropriation of a sum equivalent to twelve one-hundredths 
of a mill would therefore insure a present income of about 
$600,000, — a sum actually needed for buildings and main- 
tenance, with steady and proportional increase to satisfy the 
future development of the college. While this method is called' 
a millage tax, it is not really a separate tax upon the property 
of the Commonwealth, but merely a convenient method for 
determining, in the light of the present and prospective con- 
dition of the college, the annual appropriations which it would 
probably require for buildings, land and maintenance. In 
a State like Massachusetts that sum seems likely to remain 
fairly constant, neither giving too much nor too little to meet 
the college necessities. 

The present continuing appropriation for maintenance would 
give the college in 1918 an appropriation of approximately 
$362,000 from the State. Assuming that an annual increase 


of 5 per cent over the expenses of the preceding year is a fair 
value on which to figure, the amount required for maintenance 
would increase by approximately $20,000 a year. 

The balance af $600,000 a year would be needed for buildings 
and other improvements. 

Of the first three methods the Commission believes the 
third to be the most advantageous to the college, as well as 
most likely to remove that difficulty of which complaint has 
been made by members of the Legislature; that is, that the 
college authorities spend too much time each year in urging 
before the Legislature the needs of the college. 

It might be well worth the consideration of the Legislature 
whether this principle might be extended so as to provide a 
basis of support for all expenditures of the State for educational 
purposes. This would apply to the State a principle already 
authorized by State law for the support of education in Boston 
and certain other cities. Such a general appropriation w r ould 
of course be apportioned to the various educational institutions 
and undertakings of the State according to a ratio established 
by the Legislature, and should be accounted for annually to the 
Legislature through a single department. 

The fourth method — that of the general budget — provides 
a means for a careful study each year of the anticipated income 
of the State, on the one hand, and for a comparison and weigh- 
ing of the needs and requirements of departments and institu- 
tions on the other. It is presumed that by this method much 
more time can be given than during a legislative session to 
inquiring into the merits of different proposals, and to analyz- 
ing each with reference to the others. Institutions would be 
expected to present their plans not only for the immediate 
present but for the future. Such a plan carefully worked out 
and justly administered would be of great merit. In the event 
of the adoption of the budget plan the Commission sees no 
sufficient reason why the Massachusetts Agricultural College 
should not be included in its operation. 

In the appendix are' two bills submitted by the Commission 
for the consideration of the Legislature. These are suggestive 
of the second and third plans above mentioned. The proposed 
budget plan is also before the Legislature, having been pre- 
sented from another source. 


An examination of the business of the college shows the fact 
that its accounts are well conducted. Although there is great 
complexity and a large amount of bookkeeping work necessary, 
the treasurer has adopted those methods employed by individ- 
uals or corporations to prevent inaccuracy or fraud, which are 
recognized as essential in the conduct of ordinary business 

The work of the military department is carefully inspected 
yearly by a representative of the War Department; the mili- 
tary work is conducted in accordance with programs made by 
the War Department; and the institution is required to give 
satisfactory evidence that the requirements are being carried 
out in a manner satisfactory to the War Department. 

At the same time, the trustees should be given more of the 
freedom accorded to trustees of other colleges, and not be pre- 
vented by too complicated restrictions from purchasing land, or 
expending their funds, most advantageously for the interests of 
the college and the Commonwealth. 

The following table shows certain figures compiled for the 
year 1914 in relation to the support of higher education by cer- 
tain States, which can be compared in a general way with the 
population and resources in Massachusetts: — 




mate Taxable 




Minnesota, .... 












Wisconsin, . 






Iowa, . 


















California, . 












Ohio, . 












New York, . 



765,000 > 














1 Cornell University in New York and the University of California have also large endow- 
ment funds. 


The foregoing figures show conclusively that Massachusetts 
has not in comparison with other States been taxed excessively 
for the support of higher education. 

At the present time the United States is doing more than any 
other country to develop agriculture, and if the State is to have 
an agricultural college it ought to keep it in first-class condition 
and not allow it to depreciate for lack of adequate support. 

The first buildings of the college were cheaply constructed, 
with little provision for its future growth. An agricultural col- 
lege was a new enterprise, and was generally viewed with dis- 
trust and often with derision. Legislators, accordingly, were 
not willing to grant larger appropriations than seemed abso- 
lutely necessary to comply with the conditions of the Federal 
grants. The college had to prove its worth in order to secure 
an adequate support. Consequently, after nearly fifty years of 
organized work, it finds itself seriously hampered by the narrow 
conceptions of its mission which prevailed at its origin. All the 
buildings which were first erected have been outgrown and most 
of them worn out. No stone or brick buildings chiefly for in- 
struction purposes were built until 1899. During the last few 
years some good buildings have been erected, but other impor- 
tant buildings are now imperatively needed. 

An adequate library is to-day recognized as one of the req- 
uisites of a higher institution of learning. All departments 
of instruction are virtually dependent upon it for support. To 
it teachers and students alike must go for mental inspiration and 
instruction. It should be made a place especially attractive to 
students, where they can find commodious reading rooms and 
have easy access to the most valuable books. It must make 
provisions for the storage and for future accumulation of books. 
If well arranged it grows more valuable every year. The Agri- 
cultural College is in serious need of such a building. Its valu- 
able collection of about 53,000 volumes is not safely nor 
properly housed. They are crowded in the cellar and lower 


story of a building originally designed for a small chapel and 
entirely unsuited for library purposes. The books are injured 
by the dampness of the cellar. They are in constant danger of 
fire, and many of them are so inaccessible they are of little use 
either to teachers or students. Various plans have been sug- 
gested to remodel the building and to add to its capacity, but 
none of them has been satisfactory, and it seems poor economy 
to spend a large sum of money in remodeling a building which 
might better be devoted to some other purposes, and which 
would not meet the needs of the college if it were temporarily 

An adequate library building is, at present, one of the great- 
est material needs of the college, and, judging from the amount 
expended by other colleges, the appropriation of $250,000 does 
not seem excessive. 

Chemistry Building. 
An adequate chemical laboratory is equally needed. Chemis- 
try is a basal science in agricultural instruction and investiga- 
tion. More than any other science, it contributes to our knowl- 
edge how to make the earth produce the best and most 
abundant foods. It cannot be taught properly without well- 
equipped and ample laboratories and lecture rooms. The 
present chemical building is one of the oldest, most dilapidated 
and most unsuitable buildings on the campus. It was originally 
built for miscellaneous uses. With the growth of the college the 
rooms have become altogether too small to accommodate stu- 
dents, and the equipment is too meager and antiquated for 
instruction and research. It is constantly exposed to fire from 
the inflammable materials stored in it. It lacks space, light 
and ventilation. The time of students and teachers is wasted 
in the constant effort to overcome its deficiencies. There is no 
college in the Commonwealth which is not better supplied with 
facilities for chemical instruction. The erection is recommended, 
therefore, of a commodious and fireproof building, furnished 
with the best facilities for chemical instruction and research. 


Gymnasium and Armory. 

The gymnasium and armory are entirely inadequate for their 
purpose, and ought to be replaced at the earliest moment with 
a building suitably designed for this important part of the 
educational work of the institution. 

Both to meet the Federal requirements for military tactics 
and to provide means for the physical development of the stu- 
dents, the trustees should be empowered to provide a suitable 
gymnasium and armory. 


The time has apparently come for the adoption of a dormi- 
tory system which shall be commensurate with the needs of the 
college, and it is recommended, therefore, that the trustees be 
empowered to make arrangements for such a system. The 
increasing number of women who enter the college makes the 
need of a dormitory for their accommodation more and more 

With reference to all the buildings thus recommended the 
Commission considers it beyond its province to determine either 
the cost or the plans of such buildings as are named. These 
should be determined by the trustees after consultation with the 
faculty, with competent architects, with appropriate experts, 
and with responsible building contractors. 

In the present abnormal prices of building construction and 
labor it seems better to postpone for the present the beginning 
of this building program. 

Heating Plant. 
The central heating plant of the college was installed when 
the dominant policy was to expend as little as possible for the 
maintenance of State institutions. Engineers also were not as 
experienced then as now in the distribution of heat. While, 
therefore, the location of the plant is admirable, the conduits 
for the pipes were too cheaply constructed, and the entire 
system of distribution should be changed so that the pipes can 
be more accessible and less heat wasted. This change is recom- 
mended by expert engineers, and although it will be an expen- 


sive work, in the end it will prove more economical. In the 
judgment of your Commission the work is imperative and 
should be undertaken without unnecessary delay. 

In locating new buildings more attention should be given to 
their location with reference to economical distribution of heat. 

The plan which has been adopted by the college in recent 
years in erecting buildings that are fireproof and capable of 
enlargement is approved. 

There is evidence that the appropriations for annual repairs 
and for keeping the equipment in order have not been sufficient, 
and it is clear that expenditures for these purposes must be 
made larger to protect the interests of the Commonwealth and 
to preserve the property it has already acquired. 

The Farm. 
The farm includes improved land, pasture land and a farm 
woodlot. The improved farm is used to show the best method 
of cultivation, how varieties of soil should be cultivated, and the 
best known methods for the maintenance of fertility. The farm 
is under the general supervision of the department of farm ad- 
ministration, and is insufficiently equipped with buildings and 
machinery suitable for its work. An appropriation should be 
made to procure the best agricultural equipment. 

Student Labor. 

It is the general testimony of agricultural colleges that hired 
labor is more economical than student labor. Many of the stu- 
dents, however, are hired to do some of the work in order that 
they may pay the expense of their education. The number of 
students employed during the year 1915-16 was 160 for ten 
months, and the amount of money paid to them was approxi- 
mately $25,000. The average number of skilled and unskilled 
laborers, including farmhands employed, was 70 per month, and 
the amount paid to them was $67,000. 

In the management of the farm there are two often conflict- 
ing policies, — the educational and the commercial. If the 
dominant policy be educational there may be less commercial 


profit; if the dominant policy be commercial it becomes of less 
educational benefit. The Commission recommends that the 
dominant policy in all cases should be educational, although 
when it is educational the farm does not pay its expenses. The 
disbursements during the last fiscal year were $35,143.56, and 
the receipts only $28,986.93, leaving a deficit of $6,156,83. The 
produce of the farm which brings in the largest amount to the 
college is certified milk, which, during the year 1915-16, 
amounted to $21,207.85. To secure this amount, however, milk 
is purchased from neighboring dairies for the supply of the din- 
ing hall. It seems better, even though it costs more, to supply 
the dining hall from the college dairy and dispose of the balance 
as may seem best. 

While paid farm labor may be more economical, student labor 
should be employed sometimes for educational purposes and 
for giving the students more practical acquaintance with farm- 
ing. It would not seem unreasonable to require every student 
to devote a certain portion of time gratuitously in return for the 
great expenditure the State is making for his benefit. 

Live Stock. 

The live stock on the farm, in the judgment of experts, is not 
of as high quality as it should be, and is inferior to the stock on 
some of the private farms in the State. If the cattle and the 
poultry are to be object-lessons to the students and farmers, 
then the State college should have the best that can be secured. 

It would be an advantage if the State farms connected with 
the various charitable institutions could make exchanges of 
superior breeds of cattle and poultry for their mutual benefit. 


Land is an indispensable requisite for an agricultural college, 
and as the college grows it will doubtless need additional land 
for demonstration and for the experiment station. If more land 
is needed for permanent use it is better to purchase it than to 
lease it, as the land under the cultivation of the college becomes 
all the time more valuable, and the college is at last obliged to 
pay for the very values which it creates. 


If land is needed the trustees should have power given them 
to make purchases, subject to the approval of the Governor and 
Council, under the general provisions of the act which is recom- 
mended for giving the college an adequate financial support. It 
is better policy for the State to leave the purchase of land and 
the erection of the buildings to the trustees, and to hold them 
responsible for the wise expenditure of the funds with which 
they are intrusted. 

Development of Agricultural Resources of the 

Massachusetts has a land area of approximately 8,000 square 
miles, or 5,000,000 acres, of which 1,164,501 acres are improved 
land in farms, or about 23 per cent of the land area of the 

According to the thirteenth census of the United States the 
acreage of improved land remained practically stationary dur- 
ing the first years after the founding of the college, but in 1880 
there began a general decline, until in 1910 the acreage of im- 
proved land was only about one-half what it was in 1880. The 
acreage of staple crops also fell off, and milch cows decreased 
from 200,650 to 131,276, a loss of 49,382. The decline was not 
peculiar to Massachusetts, and in some of the eastern States 
the decline has been even greater. 

The chief causes of this decline in improved land are evi- 
dently the enormous increase in transportation facilities, so that 
staple crops can be brought from the west to the east more 
abundantly and at less cost than they can be raised here; the 
opening of vast areas of new land and the influx of great 
numbers of immigrants to occupy them; and the rapid develop- 
ment of manufacturing and mercantile interests in New Eng- 
land and the northeastern States, which has led many of the 
younger men to turn from farming to more profitable employ- 

The Massachusetts college has already rendered valuable 
services in cheeking this decline — it was 22 per cent in 1890- 
1900, and only 9.9 per cent in 1900-10 — by teaching farmers 
how to adjust farming and the production of crops to the 


changing economic conditions of modern life. The statistics 
of the same census show that where the acreage of cultivated 
land has fallen off in many instances, the yield and the value 
per acre has increased, and that while the number of cows has 
decreased their productivity has increased, so that in her dairy 
products Massachusetts stands high in comparison with other 

It is difficult to get trustworthy statistics in reference to 
vegetable crops as a basis of comparison, but those which can 
be obtained show an increase of 25 per cent in the acreage of 
all vegetables except potatoes, and in the last decade an in- 
crease of 65 per cent in value, not including a large increase 
in tobacco. 

The figures for the total value of all farm crops from 1899 
to 1909 are as follows: — 



(Per Cent). 

Total value, 

Per acre, 

Per farm 

$23,158,000 00 
$27 06 
$614 00 

$31,948,000 00 
$41 33 
$865 00 


These statistics show that Massachusetts is holding her own 
in comparison with other eastern States in the value of her farm 
crops, as the result of more intelligent methods of cultivation. 
The college also has done much, and it can do more, to develop 
the agricultural resources of the State in directing the farmers 
into new lines of agriculture, such as market gardening, fruit 
growing, greenhouse products, and in showing them how, by 
adopting new methods of fertilization and cultivation, the 
productivity of their farms can be largely increased. Farming 
in these days and in this region cannot be carried on profitably 
by old-fashioned methods. It must have the benefit of that 
advanced scientific and technical agriculture which the Massa- 
chusetts college was established to give. 

It is also the province of the college to forecast these eco- 
nomic changes, and to teach the farmers how to readjust their 
work most profitably to the new conditions, and to give them 
the benefit of the knowledge gained through the researches of 


its experiment station. The extension of this knowledge seems 
to the Commission to give to the extension service of the college 
the amplest and the most distinctive field for its exercises. 

At present Massachusetts produces only about 25 per cent 
of the food it consumes. By the application of scientific 
methods the productivity of its arable land can be increased 

Does the College meet the Agricultural Needs of the Commonwealth? 

The Commission has been asked to determine whether "the 
college is meeting in the fullest degree the needs of the Com- 
monwealth in respect to agricultural training." No college in 
any State does this. None have faculties of instruction, mate- 
rial equipment and endowments to which superlative epithets 
can properly be applied. In them all deficiencies and mistakes 
may be found. The Massachusetts college is no exception to 
the general rule. Nevertheless, within fifty years, in spite of 
manifold hindrances, it has succeeded in attaining an honorable 
place among the land-grant colleges. It is put in the first class 
by the United States Bureau of Education in the classification 
of colleges of all kinds. 

The Massachusetts college is no longer a doubtful experiment. 
It has proved its worth by adding largely to the agricultural 
wealth of the Commonwealth. 

The Production of Food. 

The question of an abundant food supply is fast becoming one 
of the most urgent and serious questions in political economy 
to which all nations are giving unusual attention. The Euro- 
pean war illustrates on a large scale how powerless a nation is 
without abundant food, and how starvation is one of the most 
effective weapons in overcoming an adversary. That question 
will become still more urgent as our population increases and 
the supply of arable land diminishes. By intelligent agriculture 
a nation can make the best preparation both for peace and war. 

Our Federal government is already recognizing this fact, 
and within the last few years has enacted a number of laws 
designed to promote agricultural interests. 


This Commonwealth ought not to lag behind other States in 
carrying on this important work, but should continue to foster 
and to maintain an institution which has been organized to 
supply more abundantly the primal need of its inhabitants. 

To enable it to discover and to teach those methods whereby 
farm life may become more productive and more attractive, 
and to increase the number of intelligent citizens, the Massa- 
chusetts Agricultural College deserves the constant and the 
generous support of the General Court. 

L. CLARK SEELYE, Chairman. 
PAYSON SMITH, Secretary. 
Jan. 29, 1918. 



Resolve to provide for the Maintenance of the Massa- 
chusetts Agricultural College. 

1 Resolved, That the trustees of the Massachusetts Agricul- 

2 tural College are hereby authorized to expend annually for 

3 the expenses of said college — including administration, in- 

4 struction, investigation, extension teaching, and general main- 

5 tenance and repairs; and for the erection of new buildings, 

6 for sundry improvements, for additional equipment, and for 

7 the purchase of land — a sum of money equivalent in amount 

8 to twelve one-hundredths of one mill for each dollar of the 

9 total assessed valuation of real estate and tangible personal 

10 property in the commonwealth, subject to local taxation, as 

11 reported in accordance with existing provisions of law to the 

12 tax commissioner of the commonwealth. Payment shall be 

13 made to the treasurer of the college in four equal installments, 

14 each on the first day of December, March, June and Septem- 

15 ber in each year. 

16 No land shall be purchased, nor shall any contract for the 

17 erection of a new building estimated to cost more than two 

18 thousand dollars be made by said trustees except with the 

19 approval of the governor and council. Before requesting the 

20 approval of the governor and council of any contract for the 

21 erection of a new building, said trustees shall submit to them 

22 complete architects' plans and specifications for such building, 

23 together with estimates of cost obtained from three inde- 

24 pendent, reliable contractors. 

25 A complete statement of all expenditures made under this 

26 resolve shall be submitted in the annual report of the trustees 

27 of the Massachusetts Agricultural College. 

An Act to provide for the maintenance of the Massa- 
chusetts Agricultural College. 

Be it enacted, etc., as follows: 

1 Section 1. The trustees of the Massachusetts Agricultural 

2 College are hereby authorized to expend for the current ex- 

3 penses of said college — including administration, instruction, 


4 investigation, extension teaching, and general maintenance 

5 and repairs; and for the erection of new buildings, for sundry 

6 improvements, for additional equipment, and for the purchase 

7 of land — the following sums: — 

8 For the year nineteen hundred and nineteen, a sum not 

9 exceeding five hundred and ninety thousand dollars. 

10 For the year nineteen hundred and twenty, a sum not 

11 exceeding six hundred and nineteen thousand dollars. 

12 For the year nineteen hundred and twenty-one, a sum not 

13 exceeding six hundred and fifty thousand dollars. 

14 For the year nineteen hundred and twenty-two, a sum not 

15 exceeding six hundred and eighty-two thousand dollars. 

16 For the year nineteen hundred and twenty-three, a sum 

17 not exceeding seven hundred and sixteen thousand dollars. 

1 Section 2. There shall be allowed and paid out of the 

2 treasury of the commonwealth to the trustees of the Massa- 

3 chusetts Agricultural College the sums provided for in section 

4 one of this act, payments to be made in four equal install- 

5 ments each on the first day of December, March, June and 

6 September in each year. 

1 Section 3. No land shall be purchased, nor shall any con- 

2 tract for the erection of a new building estimated to cost 

3 more than two thousand dollars be made by said trustees ex- 

4 cept with the approval of the governor and council. Before 

5 requesting the approval by the governor and council of any 

6 contract for the erection of a new building, said trustees shall 

7 submit to them complete architects' plans and specifications 

8 for each building, together with estimates of cost obtained 

9 from three independent, reliable contractors. 

1 Section 4. The books and accounts of the Massachusetts 

2 Agricultural College shall be audited as may be prescribed by 

3 law. A complete statement of all expenditures made under 

4 this act shall be submitted in the annual report of the trustees 

5 of the Massachusetts Agricultural College. 

1 Section 5. This act shall take effect December one, 

2 nineteen hundred and eighteen.